before and after

The Griffins

Soooo.... Welcome to my very first blog post on my new website! YAY! In order to test this thing out, I volunteered my newest favorite family during their most recent photo outing with me.



They're super cute, right? 

I wish all of you could have been there to witness what was most certainly the craziest family session. Of all time. 

This session had been a long time coming, I'll tell you that. How many times did we have to reschedule due to rain/wind/sickness/overall bad timing? A lot. As in, the rescheduling count is up there in the World Records for "Most Times a Session Has Been Rescheduled."

Rescheduled day #576 finally came along. It was a clear, sunny, blue skies kind of day. Minimal wind. Lots of happiness. I couldn't believe that the day had finally come, without anything getting in the way. That was when the Northwest decided to brew up a bunch of craziness and send it a-floating our way. The radar was a giant splotch of blues, greens, yellows, reds, and the dreaded pinks.

I immediately messaged Tonya, "This is laughable." But it was actually, like, the dumbest thing ever because why. Just why. 

Of all the other days we had rescheduled, this one was the worst weather-wise. I was so sure that we would have to reschedule again when I got the little Facebook Messenger DING. 

"Let's just do it."

I'm fairly certain my eyes almost fell out of my head. And my brain considered making me call Canon to ask, "just how weather resistant is a Mark III and a 50L in torrential rains and volleyball sized hail?"

Instead, I grabbed my cameras, scarfed three slices of pizza in five minutes flat, headed out the door, and gazed up at an ominous grayish-black sky that was moving in the direction I was heading. Wee! 

Once we arrived at the location, we all got out of the car and the adults just kind of stared at each other while our hair was blown in mini-tornados around our heads. The children ran around and screamed at each other in kid-language that nobody understands. We were all confused, but we proceeded with family photos. 

Luckily, Tonya is also a photographer. So that meant I pretty much got to sit on the ground while she plopped each family member down and positioned them how she saw fit. This gave me time to observe the gigantic wall of tornado-ish storm that was the backdrop of their photos. 

One. Two. Three. Four. And Two Feet. 

One. Two. Three. Four. And Two Feet. 

Have you guys ever worked with four children? And I'm not talking about older kids. I'm talking LEGIT children. I have a single child. Sometimes, I don't know how people handle two children. It's unfathomable to me. But FOUR. The amount of respect and admiration I have for this fellow photographer doubled, tripled, quadrupled in the 45 minutes we spent together. 

When two were laughing, one was crying, and the last one was running toward the lake. When three were crying, one was laughing. When three were running toward the lake, one was running toward the street. Everyone was screaming. Half of them were acting like dinosaurs. One was putting his finger in a hole that he said a gopher lived in. 

To this day, you guys, I have no idea what these kids' names are. I'm pretty sure one of them starts with an "S." Tonya, if you ever call me to do photos again, I swear I will learn your kids' names. I may need a glass of wine beforehand, but I WILL learn their names. 

*Insert dinosaur noise here for the full experience.*

*Insert dinosaur noise here for the full experience.*

Amazingly enough, the shoot was successful. I was nervous the entire ride home and couldn't wait to sift through to photos to make sure at least ONE turned out. To my surprise, most of them are gorgeous. They may not be perfectly posed with everyone smiling and looking at the camera, but they are full of raw emotion and true-to-life. I got a photo of every kid happily screaming in Dinosaur. I got kisses and laughs and silliness. 

I captured moments that show this family in their truest form and, to me, there's nothing more authentic and beautiful than that. 

Thank you to the Griffin family for trusting me with their photos and memories. I can't wait to finish editing their photos and deliver their action-packed gallery. 

And for those of you who enjoy the more technical side of things: 


  • Canon 5D Mark III
  • Canon 50L f/1.2
  • Sigma 35mm Art
  • Edited in Lightroom

Before & After (rollover):

As always, thank you for reading! If you liked this post, head over and give a like to The Cloud Nine Co. on Facebook and follow us on Instagram!

You can also find Tonya's photography at 374 Photography. She does amazing studio portraits of kids!